Iott's Latest Battle

By Joshua Green

Rich Iott had a debate last night, and in light of events, you had to think it wasn't going to be pretty. And it sounds like it wasn't. Tom Troy of the Toledo Blade provides this account--along with a classic lede:

Republican congressional candidate Rich Iott found himself in a real battle Monday night, not a pretend one, as he tried to use a televised debate to regain momentum in his campaign against incumbent Democrat Marcy Kaptur.

Mr. Iott accused Miss Kaptur of "coordinating" the "character assassination" that he said was aimed at falsely branding him as a Nazi, during the live debate on WUPW TV, Channel 36 Monday night.

But Miss Kaptur rejected the claim and accused him of failing to take personal responsibility. She said after the debate that she found his re-enacting of the Nazi SS to be "disturbing," and said she personally knows people who were tortured by the SS.

And Mr. Iott was asked to respond to evidence that he may have claimed his occupation as "soldier" and his employer as the State of Ohio in a federal campaign finance disclosure.
The two combatants are vying for the 9th Congressional District. Miss Kaptur, 64, has held the seat since 1983. Mr. Iott, 58, a Monclova Township businessman, is making his first run at political office.

Miss Kaptur said she knew nothing about Mr. Iott's past experience as a Nazi military re-enactor until she read about it in The Blade Saturday.

"Just unbelievable. You have no idea how disturbing I find it," Miss Kaptur said after the debate. "The SS were not soldiers. They were butchers. And they killed people and tortured people that I know personally."

She said she doesn't know anyone else who engages in Nazi military re-enactments, calling it, "totally atypical behavior."

The rest is here.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/10/iotts-latest-battle/64408/